It wasn’t supposed to be this good. When Apple introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in September, ad targeter Criteo said its revenue would be slightly impacted.
With Europe’s new GDPR privacy rules also looming, some observers were saying Criteo was toast.
But it hasn’t quite turned out that way. On Wednesday, publicly-listed Criteo reported annual revenue jumped 28% versus last year, while quarterly revenue was up 19%. Investors liked the news – Criteo’s stock on NASDAQ jumped 30% as a result.
In this video interview with Beet.TV, Criteo chief financial officer Benoit Fouilland is bullish about the company’s prospects.
“We went clearly above expectation,” he says. So what lays behind the better-than-expected results? Fouilland gives three reasons:
- Seasonal boost: “Primarily, we have seen very strong momentum of the holiday season, specifically here in the U.S., where we ended up having very strong activity through Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday. Up to Christmas, we kept a very high level of activity, which was beyond what we had initially expected.”
- New services bed in: “Last year we did an acquisition, HookLogic, and we’ve launched a new product called Criteo’s Sponsored Products, so we sell to the brand. So we help brand to drive sales online, on the site of the retailers. We see great momentum in this activity in Q4, and we’ve generated 5% of our business overall during the year thanks to Criteo’s Sponsored Products.”
- Deeper use cases: “Not only do we help clients to convert users that have expressed interest and intent for their product, but now we can help our clients to ultimately target new customers with Criteo Customer Acquisition and also to re-engage with people who have expressed, a long time ago, interest for that product with Criteo Audience Match.”
When Criteo last reported earnings in November, it had warned that Apple’s ITP would slightly reduce its full-year revenue growth forecast, from between 28% and 31% to between 26% and 27% at constant currency.
This week’s reported full-year revenue growth of 27% at constant currency means the company came in at the better end of that revision.
And, though Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation, limiting some ad-targeting use cases, is nearing final deadline in May, Criteo says it is already fully compliant.